"Homer on Military Leadership" with Jonathan Shay

21 September 2006

Homer's portraits of Agamemnon, Achilles, and Odysseus as leaders are rich and subtle, as recognizable and fresh as they were 28 centuries ago. Is a leader "shepherd of the people" or "destroyer of the people" (both Homeric phrases)?

Jonathan Shay, MD, PhD, has been a Staff Psychiatrist at the VA Outpatient Clinic, Boston, since 1987, where all of his patients have been combat veterans with severe psychological injuries. In 1999-2000 he performed the Commandant of the Marine Corps Trust Study, in 2002 was Visiting Scholar-at-Large at the Naval War College, and in 2004-2005 was Chair of Ethics, Leadership, and Personnel Policy in the Office of the U.S. Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel (G-1). He is the author of Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character (1994) and of Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming (2002), with a joint Foreword to the latter by Senators McCain and Cleland. A book with working title, Trust within Fighting Forces: Its Significance, Its Creation, Maintenance, and Destruction, is currently in preparation. He is a graduate of Harvard College, where Talcott Parsons was his Senior Tutor. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. (in a neuroscience) from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. Between college and medical school he indulged his "most expensive vice" [education] at the Columbia Graduate School of Arts and Sciences with an "ABD" [all but dissertation] in Sociology.

"Who is an American? Find out Through the Authentic Voice of Journalism" with Arlene Morgan

9 November 2006

The Authentic Voice: The Best Reporting on Race and Ethnicity is an anthology of stories and experiences from some of the top journalists in the country on how they cover racial and ethnic issues. The book/DVD/ website project arose out of the need for culturally sensitive, accurate, and well-crafted reporting on race and ethnicity in this era of great demographic change in the country. Selected from works honored in the annual "Let's Do It Better! Workshop on Journalism, Race, and Ethnicity" at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, the television and newspaper stories are examples of excellence in reporting. This multimedia project, directed by Columbia Associate Dean Arlene Morgan, is a unique resource, featuring interviews with leading journalists, including Ted Koppel, interactive discussion points, teaching tips and web links that are a must for journalism educators and professionals who want to improve their craft.

Arlene Morgan is an esteemed member of the CUSP Board of Advisors. For her biographical information please see our Board of Advisors' page.

"Young Filmmaker Panel Discussion" with Ougie Pak & J ason Garrett Lewis

29 November 2006

* Both artists screened segments from their award-winning films

Ougie Pak is a writer and filmmaker based in New York City. After receiving a B.A. in English Literature from the University of California at Berkeley, Mr. Pak worked at Antidote Films with producers Jeff Levy-Hinte and Mary-Jane Skalski on the development and production of several films including "The Hawk is Dying" and "Mysterious Skin." Mr. Pak's short film, "The 100% Perfect Girl," a melancholic fairy tale exploring the possibility/ impossibility of perfect love, premiered at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival. In addition, he was recently selected as a fellow to the 2006 Pusan International Film Festival, where he studied under internationally acclaimed filmmaker Hou Hsiao Hsien. Mr. Pak is also co-founder of Ouri Productions, a progressive arts group made up of artists/activists from various talents, places and backgrounds, who initiate, develop and support projects that forge new relationships between art and reality. Ouri Productions strives to develop cooperative relationships with artists, community organizations, and educators in order to challenge traditional notions of boundaries and margins.

Jason Garrett Lewis, a graduate of Tufts University, is a published photographer and award-winning filmmaker who first aimed his camera on the streets of New York in fifth grade; he has been shooting stills and film ever since. His still work has appeared in a variety of magazines and CD covers, shooting some of the biggest names in hip-hop and rock, including Talib Kweli, Mos Def, and Cody Chesnutt. He has also worked in film in a number of different key positions both on-set and off. Presently focusing on directing and producing, Mr. Lewis' first directorial and producing effort earned him accolades in a number of festivals; his second film, "Color of a Doubt: An Urban Fable," is currently entering the festival circuit. He has participated in producing numerous other films, including the experimental film "Making of Americans" which had its premier in the summer 2004 at New York's P.S.1./MOMA museum. His still work can currently be seen at The Steppingstone Gallery in Huntington, LI.

"Documentary Can and Must Be True" with Albert Maysles

23 January 2007

*Mr. Mayles screened segments from his award-winning films

"As a documentarian, I happily place my fate and faith in reality. It is my caretaker, the provider of subjects, themes, experiences-all endowed with the power of truth and the romance of discovery. And the closer I adhere to reality the more honest and authentic my tales. After all, the knowledge of the real world is exactly what we need to better understand and therefore possibly to love one another. It's my way of making the world a better place."

~Albert Maysles

A pioneer of Direct Cinema, Albert Maysles, along with his brother David were the first to make nonfiction feature films ("Gimme Shelter," "Salesman," "Grey Gardens") where the drama of life unfolds as is without scripts, sets, interviews or narration. His first film, "Psychiatry in Russia" (1955) he made in transition from psychologist to documentary filmmaker. In 1960 he served as co-filmmaker of "Primary." His 36 films include "What's Happening? The Beatles in the USA" (1964), five films of the projects of Christo and Jeanne-Claude (1972 to 1995), "Meet Marlon Brando" (1965) and three documentaries for HBO. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship (1965), a Peabody, an Emmy, five Lifetime Achievement Awards, the award for best cinematography at Sundance (2002) for "Lalee's Kin," which was also nominated in 2001 for an Academy Award and most recently, the Columbia Dupont Award (2004). In 1999, Eastman Kodak saluted him as one of the 100 world's finest cinematographers. Albert's latest project, "The Gates" (1979-2005), is presently in postproduction.

"Antarctic Encounters" with Henry Kaiser

12 February 2007

Guitarist Henry Kaiser has traveled to Antarctica four times as a member of the U.S. Antarctic Program. Each time he has worked as research diver beneath the 20 foot thick ice of the Ross Sea. He has just returned from his most recent Antarctic deployment with director Werner Herzog where Henry functioned as underwater cameraman and producer of a new Herzog feature film for Discovery Channel International's theatrical release unit. Henry's collaborations with Werner Herzog have included the soundtrack for "Grizzly Man," cinematography on "The Wild Blue Yonder," and he is currently the Producer of Herzog's "Encounters at the End of the World," which has just completed principle photography in Antarctica. Henry will share video and odd tales of the Antarctic at his presentation.

Widely recognized as one of the most creative and innovative guitarists, improvisers, and producers in the fields of rock, jazz and experimental music, California-based musician Henry Kaiser is one of the most extensively recorded as well, having appeared on more than 140 different albums. A restless collaborator who constantly seeks the most diverse and personally challenging contexts for his music, Mr. Kaiser not only produces and contributes to a staggering number of recorded projects, he performs frequently throughout the USA, Europe and Japan, with several regular groupings as well as solo guitar concerts and concerts of freely improvised music with a host of diverse instrumentalists. Kaiser has recorded and/or performed with Herbie Hancock, Michael Stipe, Jerry Garcia, and Cecil Taylor, among others.

As one of the "first generation" of American free improvisers, born in Oakland, California, on 19 September, 1952, Mr. Kaiser has helped unfetter the guitar from the conventions of genre-bound techniques, but his instrumental virtuosity and technological breakthroughs are always deployed in the service of deep and immediate personal expression. Some of his musical sources include traditional blues, East Asian, Classical North Indian and Hawaiian music, free jazz, free improvisation, American steel-string concert guitar, and 20th century classical, but he also draws creatively from other abiding interests, which for Mr. Kaiser include Information Theory, experimental cinema, mathematics, experimental literature and SCUBA diving. He was employed for the last 15 years as a senior instructor in Underwater Scientific Research at the University of California at Berkeley.

"Why Literature Matters" with Erica Jong

28 February 2007

In an age when most readers have less time than ever and competing technologies offer innumerable distractions, why does literature still matter and how can we find a place for it in our lives?

Jong argues that literature brings serenity, calm, and knowledge of one's self even at its most provocative. Making time for literature is making time your best self, your inner journey, your soul. Delving into literature is delving into your self--which is why nothing else comes near it in nourishing the blossoming of your soul.

A world without literature is a world without soul.

Erica Jong is an esteemed member of the CUSP Board of Advisors. For her biographical information please see our Board of Advisors' page.

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